Army Reserve First Lieutenant Douglas Lind Rokke went to war in 1990 and he has been misrepresenting what he did ever since in his travelling Rokke Horror Picture Show. Here is what I have posted to Amazon as a review of another variant of that show; he is an amazing showman, but it is a show, not fact and not cause for alarm unless you are easily scared by the unknown. Rokke prides himself on doing that and has been very successful in doing so.
Douglas Lind Rokke was born in 1949, graduated from Libertyville, Illinois High School in 1967 and enlisted in the Air Force. He served in Vietnam according to his records, but the exact nature of that service is not clear. In some of his appearances and videos, he claims to have treated combat casualties in Vietnam. That is categorically false. Rokke did study to be an EMT after discharge from the Air Force in 1971 and did serve as a medic for an Illinois Army National Guard unit that he joined in 1980. Rokke was even commended for life saving first aid that he rendered when he stopped at an accident site on the way home one evening from National Guard drill.
Rokke briefly worked as a Criminalist at the Joliet, Illinois Police department after graduating from Western Illinois University in 1975. He is not, as he has claimed on some websites, a "forensic scientist". His six months probationary service clearly did not meet that standard.
In 1986, Rokke was direct commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Reserve after obtaining his Masters in Vocational Education with the thesis of "The necessity and educational acquisition of selected vocational skills by Food Science graduates" while working in the Physical Science Assistant series at the University of Illinois Department of Food Science.
A couple of months before First Lieutenant Rokke was ordered to active duty with the 12th Medical Detachment, Beloit, Wisconsin, he transfered from Food Science to the Physics Department as a Physical Science Technical Assistant. Rokke has often implied that he was a physicist or research scientist with some sort of depleted uranium expertise who was specially ordered to Saudi Arabia to clean up the Army's DU mess. That simply is not true. He had no particular expertise in depleted uranium before the Gulf War and he was not singled out and ordered from his physics lab. That is just part of the persona that Rokke has effected since he has learned that it pays well to be flown around the world and wined and dined as the former Director of the Army DU Program (a title he never actually held) beginning about in 1999.
Rokke arrived in Saudi Arabia in December 1990 and in March 1991 was made a "theatre health physicist" by the Army so that he could take care of the remaining health physics issues after the actual experts and two other more senior active Army Captain health physicists had gone home. Lieutenant Rokke then oversaw the work by Chem Nuclear, Inc. to crate up some Bradley Fighting Vehicles that had been hit by DU in friendly fire incidents to be taken back to South Carolina for decontamination. The surviving crew members of these incidents have been monitored by the VA Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland since the end of the Gulf War and none of them ever became ill due to DU. Rokke has falsely claimed that 29 members of his team have not only become sick due to DU, but that they have died. I spoke to one of them about a month ago at his retirement home. Newspaper reporters and the Vanity Fair editor David Rose who wrote about Rokke could have done the same thing, but they never bothered to search anyone out or talk to them. I intend to identify every single person who participated in the depleted uranium assessment and decontamination in Southwest Asia and interview each to determine if they have become ill. I have some clues and given time will locate each and talk with them.
Rokke also treated some injured soldiers, including a Colonel Brigade Commander, who had cut himself and possibly contaminated the cut with DU. This happened in Iraq, but not during the war, but in April of 1991 when a tank was being towed home and caught fire igniting the on board DU munitions which then exploded. This incident, documented in the footnotes of the Department of Defense Gulf Link website does not mention Rokke by name, but does indicate that a First Lieutenant with first aid skills treated the injured by cleaning and decontaminating the wounds and closing up the cuts with BandAids and SteriStrips. Rokke appears to now call this treating the front line wounded during the war. The war had ended over two months before.
Rokke returned to the United States in late June 1991 and was released from active duty at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin on July 1, 1991. This date is significant because Rokke now claims to be expert on the 6,700 pounds of sand from Kuwait that was shipped to Idaho for disposal earlier this year. That sand was contaminated with DU and other more toxic substances in the fire at Camp Doha which occured ten days after Rokke had become a civilian again. Rokke never returned to Southwest Asia and never had anything to do with the Camp Doha fire or the decontamination of that area afterwards.
Rokke returned to the University of Illinois and completed his doctoral thesis "Perceived physics concepts needed to teach secondary technology education as general education" in Vocational Education. The title and subject matter are significant because they has absolutely nothing to do with depleted uranium despite the claims by Rokke that he was sickened by being improperly exposed to DU in Southwest Asia the year before.
In 1994, Rokke volunteered for a one-year (later lengthened by three months) active duty tour at Fort McClellan, Alabama's Army Chemical Corps School. Rokke was the liaison with a contractor that was preparing DU awareness training materials. Captain Rokke was not the Director of the Army's DU Program, but that is what Rokke now claims this 15 month assignment to have been. After this, Rokke briefly worked as a civilian at the Chemical Corps School Bradley Radiological Laboratory but he was let go during the probationary period. I have no actual records of this occurence, but have eyewitness accounts from more than one person who was there.
Rokke then became a Visiting Assistant Professor at nearby Jacksonville State University in Alabama where he taught undergraduate science classes for two academic years. During this period, Rokke began to become a leader of the anti-depleted uranium crusade and fashioning his false persona. He claimed to have knowledge of DU use at Vieques Puerto Rico in a complaint from his Jacksonville faculty e-mail address that is on file with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and he later demanded that the Army be stripped of its licenses to store and handle depleted uranium. His demands were investigated at considerable time and cost to the taxpayer, found to be groundless and were denied. However, as a result of this inquiry, Rokke was provided a medical report from the Department of Energy which erroneously indicated that Rokke had been seriously contaminated while observing a test in Nevada. Rokke now uses this report to claim that he was seriously contaminated in Southwest Asia and even that he is dying as a result of the numerous conditions that he claims have resulted. Rokke does not tell the audience that he received a corrected report that showed where the error had been made and that he was not contaminated at all. He continues to push the false report to all who will listen.
Since leaving Jacksonville State University, Rokke has been a substitute science teacher in the Urbana, Illinois public schools and was promoted to Major in the Army Reserve in 2001. The Army Reserve, though, forced Rokke into the retired reserve in 2003 for non-participation and even Rokke's substitute teaching at Urbana seems to have dried up. His main source of income almost seems to be ranting against depleted uranium and this video is a great boost to that cottage industry. Don't support it.
Every statement made in this unauthorized biography of Rokke is true and supported by documents that I have obtained from FOIA requests to the Army, University of Illinois, Urbana Public Schools and the Joliet Police Department as well as similar inquiry to Jacksonville State University under the Public Records act of Alabama plus extensive on-line research of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's ADAMS document retrieval system and the Department of Defense Special Assistant for Deployment Health Gulf Link website's End Notes which contain Gulf War documents and investigative interviews with key Gulf War participants in depleted uranium issues. Rokke is mentioned by name in some documents and by rank and job function in others. Other individuals are also mentioned by name and I have made an effort to contact them. Many of these documents are available in the Files Section of the Yahoo Group DUStory which was created in order to post these files that I obtained by FOIA and other links to factual scientific materials about depleted uranium. You may access them using the instructions at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/DUStory/message/87
See also http://www.archive.org/details/DepletedUraniumWhatIsItIsItDangerous
for the Chemical Review article that Rokke co-authored while serving as Captain Rokke at the Chemical Corps School at Fort McClellan. This article contradicts what Rokke says today.